Good service – praise where it is due

As I have said before I am told I am quite evangelistic about products and services that I consider are good. Following me on social media will soon make this evident, particularly when it comes to technology. Just over a year ago I bought an Android mobile phone from China and I was so pleased with it I tweeted and blogged the subject to death. But it was a really good phone, with great features and at a great price. Best still it was contract-free and unlocked from any network all while costing me around £135.

A screengrab of an Adnroid 4 homepage
A screengrab from my original phone – image (c) Ryan P Cartwright CC:By-SA

Failure

After about 13 months of use it started to play up. First the battery life – which was one of the things I praised it for – started to dwindle in a bad way. It went from 36 hours on normal usage to around 12 in a week and then it dropped to four. No problem as I had received two batteries with it. I charged the second one and carried on but this time it would not charge beyond 65%, no matter how long I left it. After a further two weeks it refused to charge at all. It said it was but it was actually running on battery instead of charging and eventually both batteries died.

So I realised I needed a new ‘phone. After all I had imported this one and I couldn’t very well take it back to the shop. I had no insurance for it ( I doubt I could get any for an imported model) and the pohone was now around 14 to 15 months old. I decided to look for a new phone. I went back to the same supplier because I was impressed with their service when I bought the first one. More than one person around me questioned this as it appeared the economic reasons for getting an imported ‘phone may not be as good as they first seemed if I had to replace the unit every year. Never the less I didn’t want to return to the world of contracts, lock-in and the constant chase for the next shiny thing. So I selected a suitable unit costing around £100 which looked quite nice. I figured that at £100 I could afford it if it broke in another 15 months.

Good service

On the off-chance, I emailed the supplier in China first mentioning the problems I had encountered with the original ‘phone. To my – pleasant – surprise they offered to replace it. I had told them how long ago I had bought it and they were fine with that. They asked me to post it to them by regular airmail – which saved me quite a bit (it only cost £7) – and then to email them a proof of posting. I did this and they duly dispatched a replacement unit which arrived today and is now charging on my desk.

So the time frame of the whole is:

  • 1st October 2103: The ‘phone first started showing problems
  • 27 October 2013: I emailed the supplier
  • 1 November 2013: I posted it back to them
  • 18 November 2013: the replacement arrived.

So in all it was three weeks from reporting to replacement arriving and it cost me £7.  Three weeks might seem a while but I had an old ‘phone around I could use and when I thought about it I have returned other electronic equipment in the UK which was under warranty in the past and it took around the same time. Remember they didn’t even wait for the old ‘phone to arrive. Their emails were courteous and well written and I dealt with the same person each time. Particularly nice for me was that their email was devoid of the “boilerplate” stock response text you get from so many “western” suppliers. You know, the sort of thing where they start the email with two paragraphs saying how happy they are to serve you today before asking you to do exactly what the last three eMails did.

So, on the basis on the good service I received, here’s what I want to say, if you are looking to buy a mobile ‘phone from China, buy it from Dracotek – the people I bought it from. If you are worried about buying direct then you can buy it through Amazon. Since I bought my first phone from them several people I know have bought phones from them and all of them have reported how satisfied they were with the product and the service. I am not affiliated to Dracotek, I just like the way they do business. They will be getting mine again.